Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

Title: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary

Format: Paperback

‘You never forget your first love…’


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Eleanor & Park was my first experience of Rainbow Rowell.  She has an impressive following on Tumblr, and I wanted to know if she lived up to the hype; she did.  Eleanor & Park follows two teenagers – Park, from a loving, stable family home, and Eleanor, who is just barely surviving under her stepfather’s abusive rule – as they are drawn together, despite the risks.

I ate my way through an entire box of chocolates as I read this book. At its core, it is really just another young adult romance, but it does that job exceptionally well. With Eleanor’s family history slowly revealed as the story went on, the sense that something terrible was going to happen meant I was reading the book whenever I found a few minutes spare – lunch breaks, train rides, waiting for the kettle to boil. I was hooked.

There was something John Green-esque about the whole experience too.  I can probably liken it most to Paper Towns; a coming-of-age book that never loses the truth about growing up – it is glorious and tough.  Rowell captures this perfectly in her portrayal of young love.

What I loved about having finished the book is that I wasn’t alone in coping with my “book hangover”; because of Rainbow Rowell’s huge following, I was able to aid my recovery (it’s one of those books) with beautiful fan art, quotes, and chat with other fans.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a film on the horizon at some point (in fact, it seems DreamWorks might have gotten hold of the film rights).

Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ (5/5)

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